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The identification of rock art found in Farafra supports the idea that Egypt based its culture on the cultural influences of Africa and not only from the Near East.
At western desert of Egypt A cave has recently been located in which its walls were full of rock art, which is believed to be between 6,000 and 7,000 years old. That is, it was drawn at least 1,000 years before the construction of the pyramids. It is these drawings that refute the argument that the Egyptians were based on the cultures of Africa.
Last month, Dr. Giulio Lucarini examined drawings of a giraffe, a bovid, and two boats, as well as the silhouette of a hand. Apparently, the engravings were discovered in 2010, but the beginning of the revolution in Egypt prevented them from being investigated.
Lucarini is an expert on the transition from forage to agriculture in North Africa. He is, together with Professor Barbara Barich, co-director of a project called “The Archaeological Mission in the Oasis of Farafra”, Who has been studying the archeology of this area since the late 1980s.
The site where the images have been identified, which are painted on the surface with white chalk, is located at 600 km southwest of Cairo and 50 km from the nearest paved road in Farafra.
Boats Arch, as the site has been nicknamed in reference to its key surface location, is 3 km from Wadi el Obeiyid Cave, which were first examined by Barich. The Wadi el Obeiyid art features engraved depictions of ships and animals, as well as hand-painted stencil galleries. «What is really exciting is that these drawings are among the earliest artistic testimonies of the people who lived in Farafra and possibly throughout the Eastern Sahara.«Said Lucarini.
For the scientist the location of the sites is another important point: “Depictions of ships in Egypt's Western Desert are rare compared to those in the Eastern Desert, a region that links the Nile Valley to the Red Sea. They could have been created by people who moved through very long distances and could have visited the sea or the Nile valley. In the research sites we have been we have not found any remaining fauna belonging to the giraffe as well, such as the pictures of boats, the giraffe drawing cannot represent a local element, but something seen elsewhere and considered exotic”Lucarini explained.
In recent years Lucarini and his team have been studying the remains of the Sheikh el Obeiyid people. Slab structures in stone circles were once the foundations of huts made from animal skins and vegetation. They have also found burial mounds containing corridor structures that appeared to have had a religious or symbolic function.
Lucarini is interested in developing Egyptian Antiquities Training Programs in which teachers and children can share their research with the team, this being a way of underlining the importance of preserving cultural heritage; very vulnerable today.
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